IWSG Intrigue & Bwitchy Characters

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's that time of month again when the IWSGers connect with each other and share doubts, fears and concerns. All writers are welcome. The sign up page is here and the hashtag for the group is #IWSG. This month's co-hosts are Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva and Rhonda Albom.

A few reminders ... The admins of the IWSG Facebook group have switched things up a little. To give members more visibility on the weekend, we've moved the Promo day to Friday instead of Saturday, so Fun Friday & Promo Saturday have been combined. Feel free to share your good news and shout outs, starting on Fridays. Keep your eyes peeled next month because Alex and the IWSG team have a big announcement for the upcoming IWSG anniversary.

On to my insecurities ...

I'm not struggling with much this time around. I'm busy trying to finish a story that involves a character that I don't like much. Everybody's redeemable, so I'm trying to shape her into someone I admire, but it's hard going 'cause she's a bit of a bwitch. Oh yeah, I did that deliberately.

I'm now at the point where I should have been long ago - trying to plot her adventures and wrap up her story. I know where she'll be at the end, but getting there won't be a matter of sitting down and writing. You see, I used to be a pantser, but find that plotting works so much better for me. My writing time is better spent when I know where I'm going and how to get there.

My goal is to be finished by August 30 and with or without Annette McKellop's (aka bwitchy female lead) help, I'll get there.

What are you struggling with? Pesky characters? Lacklustre plotlines? Lack of writing time?


On another note, among the things happening around here, I'll be doing a blog tour in October. Click the Blog Train badge in the side bar for details or if you like adventure you can sign up for the tour. 

I'll be doing the Who's Your Hero? Blogfest again in October and Michelle Wallace has graciously agreed to co-host this event. Join us if you have a hero you can tell us about in 300 words. There will be incentives, so stay tuned. If you're game, sign up below. The more, the merrier.


63 comments:

  1. If part of your goal is to have this character be redeemed in some way, then it's probably good she starts out as a bwitch (lol!). Plus it's fun to write awful characters! I have a character who's a jerk but I can't really figure out why...he's just one character who's bugging me right now.

    Sarah Foster
    August IWSG Co-host

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. I hope you find out what's up with your guy. When you know what his problem is, you'll do a great job redeeming him from himself. :)

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  2. Hi Joy! Sounds like you're doing well.

    I have issues like this time from to time, but they eventually work out. My issues are mostly time and self doubt. :( But I'm working through it. :)

    I signed up for the blog hop. Sounds like fun. :)

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    1. Thanks, Mina. I expect the hop to be good from the POV of seeing who people look up to and why.

      Time does prove a challenge for all of us. It's good that you're plowing onward, despite the challenges.

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  3. That's funny! Dig those difficult characters. Used to fight with one myself. You'll finish!

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    1. Yeah, thanks. I'll get there. I know I will. Soon as we stop wanting to go in different directions. :)

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  4. I've got a character who likes to give me a run for my money, but that's what makes her so fun to write.

    Energy. That's my struggle. I need a supercharge to get me moving because all I want to do is read and sleep. Fun, right?

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  5. Crystal, you always seem so full of energy, but I know that life takes a fair chunk of it and sometimes not much is left over for writing. Hmm ... I may need to wrangle this character to the ground and make her give in.

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  6. My struggle is finding the balance between everything. But I have a plan. It will all come together.
    I'm looking forward to co-hosting the blogfest with you, Joy!

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    1. Michelle, looking forward to working with you too. Planning and balance, hard to hit just the right not, but we can always try, eh?

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  7. I had to deal with one of those. Heather in Book V was bwitchy and a royal pain in the butt. hardest book I ever wrote. Ironically, it turned out to be the best of the series. Darn Heather.

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    1. That would be really worth this struggle, Diane, if this turns out to be the best of the series. :) Sounds like Heather challenged you and taught you how to take the challenges and make a great story.

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  8. I'm in a "stuck mode' organizationally with my poetry book (I'll break out of this soon, I can feel it) and have been crimped hard for writing time. But that looks like it's about to change for the better as well. Deadlines looming, but that's what they do best!

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    1. Hi, Dean, hope you make the deadline, but like I said on your blog, if it's not public you can always shift it.

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  9. This probably doesn't relate, but I'm dealing with a bad internet connection since all the fires have grown in the interior of BC. We didn't see the sky for 4 days. It was very doomsdayish. As for mean characters, or sloppy characters, or just boring characters, I'm your woman. It's a constant battle. Yay for rewrites! I find picking an actor to play the part helps. Especially if I choose one I admire who's a bit bitchy, like Heather Locklear. Classy lady, but she can be a great bad girl.

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    1. Thanks, Joylene, didn't think of doing that. You know, giving the character a real-life persona as inspiration.

      I hope the conditions get better in your neck of the woods.

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  10. I hope you can whip your character into shape! I've been fortunate enough to like all my characters, even the evil antagonists. And I know you'll meet your goal of finishing. :)

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    1. I hope so too, Chrys. I'm still working out some scenarios and hope she'll cooperate. I do want to meet this particular goal as this book is 2 years past the due date. :^/

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  11. Hope you find a way to love your character soon, or at least respect her. I tried to sign up for your blog tour, but the interwebz is giving me headaches today. It spun me off to weirdville. So, will you put me on your list? I'll happily give your new book a shoutout.

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    1. Hi, Mary,

      I hope Annette does something soon to make me respect her. Thanks for offering to help. I'll definitely hit you up for the tour.

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  12. Always great to come upon a post where someone isn't feeling too insecure for the month. Yay! Good luck getting that character into shape. She sounds like trouble. :)

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I hope she'll be worth all the headache and work. :)

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  13. Mine is all about time. It's always about time, the lack of it.

    You've got a great goal. Here's to reaching it. And congrats on wrangling that character into shape.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! Got a few words in today. :)

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  14. Oh, I've got one of those characters! LOL She's a bit of an anti-hero. I have readers mention to me all the time that they don't really "like" her all that much, but that she's interesting and they cheer for because of her relationship with another major character in the series. I then confess that I think she is a little nasty, too, but that we're all wired a little differently. :)

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    1. E.J., I always say the world is an interesting place because we are all so different. The nasty characters help us root harder for the gooduns.

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  15. Focus has been my biggest issue lately. I just can't stay focused on the task at hand!

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    1. So many things demand our attention. I tend to wait til the last minute to do what I should have done ages ago. A terrible way to work, but there it is.

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  16. All I'm dealing with right now are those last final proofs. You know the ones... when you get to that point where you have to let go and be okay if there are a few mistakes? I'm still learning that one.

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    1. Haven't learned it yet, Bish, but I make do. Still proofing when the book is published. :D The good part is learning how to let go after obsessing for a while.

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  17. Struggling with getting final stuff done, and it's tough finding the time to do everything.

    Sounds like you've got a lot going on. I'd love to participate in your blog hop, but I will be away for most of October.

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    1. Yes, time is of the essence and it's tough when there are a hundred things to be done. Yup, lots to be done cause I haven't done much in the promo department for ages. No worries if you can't participate. I know life gets busy for all of us.

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  18. I'd love to host you on your blog tour, but unfortunately I'm full up for the rest of the year.

    It's great when we find the writing method that works best for us. Makes a huge difference!

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  19. So true, Carol. Finding what works and sticking to it does mean forward motion for us.

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  20. you know, I do miss that time when you are so immersed in a story that you forget self-doubt and the usual insecurities, good for you for being in that happy place! :-)

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    1. Thanks. It's good to put that internal editor and naysayer in a corner while we work on our stories. I've learned how to do that.

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  21. For me it was a plotline. I knew where I was going but didn`t know how to get there. It has taken over five false starts but I think I`m finally getting somewhere. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Good for you, Anna. It easier for me when I draw a map. :) Even a few loose plot points help me tremendously.

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  22. I think it's great that you're sticking with your character. And I'm also a pantser trying to learn some plotting techniques.
    lucindawhitney.com

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    1. Hi, Lucinda,

      Hope the plotting goes according to plan. It makes life a lot easier.

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  23. Good luck with your story and the bwitch (I like that term.)

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I got some words down today, so we're getting along for now.

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  24. Good luck with your goal, Joy. I'm a plotter now too, so I can understand where you're coming from.

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    1. Thanks, Lynda. With plotting, life is simpler.

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  25. I have learned a new word - I like Bwitch - it relates to a few people I know, and they don't have any redeeming qualities that I can think of quickly, so it is possible to just be a Bwitch!

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    1. Life is like that, Rhonda. Some of us are all about me, myself and I. Hard to think of anybody else when all that's going on is related to self.

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  26. I don't think I've every had trouble with a character I didn't like. Even when I'm writing villains, I find that I'm fascinated by just how sinister they are that I like them for being so bad. I do, however, know the feeling struggling passed a particular part of story to read the end. I hope you make your goal and that character behaves enough to go along.

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    1. Thanks, Toi,

      Seems like every time I get over a hurdle, there's another one looming. Not only is the character difficult, but getting through the plot is also a challenge.

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  27. Thank you for the insight. It is interesting and comforting to know other writers struggle with their characters as well. Something surprising happened the other day when I was writing my current project. I did the 7-point story plot, as my good friend Jay Noel suggested, and I knew exactly what was going to happen. However, as I was writing, my mind began to buzz, and I created two characters whom I never had an intention of creating. They just stepped into the scene and then it made perfect sense as to why they would become minor characters. They evolved, or rather, revealed themselves to me. I found it so enjoyable that I fleshed them out. Does that ever happen to you? Do phantom spirits linger around you, waiting for you to create bodies for them?

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    1. Interesting that you say that, Michael. I find that characters evolve from secondary ones into demanding people who eventually get a story of their own. That's how series are born.

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  28. I have a character who unintentionally turned out to be a bwitch. She was destroying my storyline, and I thought I would have to replace her in revisions. Instead, I wrote until I ran across her soft center and began to understood why she was the way she was. Never ceases to amaze me how often I discover my characters on the page. As a plotter in life, I wish I were a plotter on the page, but plotting doesn't work for me. I'm a pantser through and through.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. VR, I can so relate to someone who turns the plot upside down. Good that you continued until you figured out that character. :)

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  29. This character sounds interesting. I tend to like reading stories with "bwitch" characters.

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    1. Mike, they certainly tend to keep things hopping.

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  30. Hi Joy. Going from pantser to plotter is a steep learning curve. I still plot then run away with it anyhow. I so enjoyed the last 'hero' blogfest and am excited to be doing another one. :)

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    1. Denise, I've learned to construct a loose plot so that I'm not tied into tiny details. I go where I will at times, but it's good for me to know what major incidents are going to happen during my characters' adventures.

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    2. Thanks for signing up for the blogfest. I'm looking forward to seeing who people choose this time around.

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  31. I'm a lot like you in the sense that I'm a panster but have been forcing myself to do some plotting, and it does help moving forward when you know what direction to go. But sometimes I just can't help jumping around when an idea pops into my mind. This character of yours sounds intriguing, good luck with it! :)

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    1. Oh, yes, comes the time when some jumping around happens. Great to know I have reminders about the path I should be on when that happens.

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  32. It's not easy having an unlikeable lead. In fact, it's so hard, I have one that I KNOW I need to turn into someone unlikeable for the first half of the story but I just can't seem to do it! Because I love this story so much (and this character) seeing her "ugly" at the beginning of the story grates on my nerves BUT, as you said, everyone is redeemable. And everyone loves a good turn around story! Best of luck to you! Looking forward to the blogfest. Michelle sent me the info :) ~Jen

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  33. I had to change the main character of my last book several times after people claimed she was unlikable. I had to add softness here and there.

    Every time I click on something on your blog, some new window pops open, for sales or spam. It doesn't happen when I visit other sites.

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  34. Jennifer, so true, but we have to write through it. Looking forward to the blogfest.

    Medeia, the beta reads might make me have to do some shifting around too. Not sure why that's happening with the blog because I haven't signed up for any affiliate stuff. Not sure what's happening.

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